• resource-based view;
  • disintermediation;
  • food industry

A series of hypotheses, derived from resource-based view (RBV) and extended RBV theory, are developed to assess how boundary-spanning information technologies (BSIT) are perceived to impact performance improvement, measured by order cost reduction, inventory reduction and customer satisfaction. Data are gathered from managers in the food industry to test our hypotheses. The results of our empirical analysis lend support to RBV theory in that we find that the use of BSIT is perceived to be positively associated with performance benefits. We also find that supply chain intermediaries — distributors and retailers — perceive greater performance improvements from BSIT than do manufacturers. The findings are significant in that investments in BSIT can produce important benefits for firm operations, and may forestall potential disintermediation from supply chains. Finally, we find that despite the greater perception of benefits from BSIT by intermediaries, they do not actually invest in BSIT to any greater extent than do manufacturers. This result may suggest that intermediaries are under-investing in BSIT.